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Ventricina Teramana – almost original

When I asked my sausage making Facebook friends what kind of salumi other than guanciale or ‘nduja to make from a pork jowl, someone proposed vetricina teramana. I had heard of that sausage before but never tried it before, so I set off to make it.

In Italy there are two disinctly different types of ventricina: Vastese is a very coarse sausage seasoned with fennel seeds, hot and mild peppers. Teramana is very fatty and spreadable, and it is seasoned with orange zest, rosemary and peppers. Both have in common that they are traditionally stuffed into a pig’s stomach. I did not fancy a spicy sausage, though, so I decided to leave out the peppers. And because I only used one jowl an enitre stomach would have been too large, so I used hog middles as casing.

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I used:

  • 1 pork jowl, skin off (1.2 kg)
  • 25 g salt per kg
  • 1 g saltpeter (KNO3) per kg
  • 0.2 g ascorbic acid per kg
  • 0.5 g Bactoferment 61 starter culture
  • 3 g white pepper per kg
  • Dried rosemary, crushed in a mortar
  • Orange zest, freshly grated
  • 60 mm hog middle casings

I did not weigh the rosemary and the orange zest but seasoned to taste. Freshly grated orange zest is very intensive, so be careful. I did not add very much but the aroma was already quite strong so I feared that I overdid it. But it mellowed out over time and turned out just fine.

Method:

Preparation is absolutely straightforward. The jowl is ground with the 2 mm plate of the meat grinder mixed thoroughly with the other ingredients and then stuffed into the soaked casings. Because of the small amount I was making I didn’t even bother to use my sausage stuffer. I simply used its widest nozzle as a funnel. The paste is soft enough that any trapped air can be easily “massaged” out without risking to tear the casing. I made one long and one short sausage.

Since I don’t have a curing chamber with climate control I fermented the sausages at room temperature for two days in a plastic box with the lid slightly open to create a high humidity environment. After that they were hung in the basement at 12 degrees and 70%-ish relative humidity. When the surface felt dry to the touch I cold smoked the sausages for 10 hours with beechwood.

I cut the smaller sausage after one month, and what can I say? It is absolutely fantastic! The combination of orange zest and roesemary is simply divine, and I don’t miss the peppers a bit. Beause of the high fat content ventricina teramana can be aged much longer, and I will keep the second sausage hanging for another few months. It will only improve.

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